Accessibility statement

Beacon Activities 

Upcoming Events

Logo for pathways to equity in research symposium with white heart logo on dark blue background

National STEM Learning Centre, University of York

23 September 2022, 10am to 3.30pm

Symposium webpage

Please visit our Resource Hub for materials on Equality and Diversity.

External activities 

Membership of Committees and Groups

Served on Athena SWAN judging panels Paul Walton, Derek Wann, Caroline Dessent and Leonie Jones
Member of the University Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Caroline Dessent
Members of the University of York Athena SWAN Science Faculty Working Group Caroline Dessent and Leonie Jones
Member of University of York Athena SWAN Steering Group Paul Walton
Chair of the University wide Athena SWAN Forum Paul Walton
Athena SWAN Departmental Representatives Caroline Dessent and Leonie Jones
Athena SWAN Champion (and sits on the HEA Ireland review board on gender equality in Higher Education in Ireland) Paul Walton
Panel member for the Royal Society's Rosalind Franklin award Robin Perutz 
Friend of the Daphene Jackson Trust Caroline Dessent
Member of the RSC Inclusion and Diversity Committee  David Smith
Ambassador for European INTEGER project (Institutional Transformation for Effecting Gender Equality in Research) Paul Walton
Member of York Biology and School of Physics, Engineering and Technology Equality groups  
Member of the Advisory Board, University of Galway, Ireland  Paul Walton
Member of the University of York Women's Forum Caroline Dessent 
Chair of the University Race Equality Steering Group Avtar Matharu



July 2020  

Virtual Q&A with Angela Saini- Racism in Science & Academia, Joint Equality and Diversity Beacon Event, University of Leeds & University of York

June 2020  

Dr Izzy Jayasinghe - From optical microscopy to Pride Month of protest. Virtual Equality and Diversity Seminar: Celebrating Pride Month

June 2020 Leonie Jones

Unconscious Bias Training, Network Wide Event for Safer Autonomous Systems (SAS) DTP.

March 2020  

Jess Wade - A voice for diversity in science. Department of Chemistry Beacon Equality and Diversity Lecture



July 2019 Leonie Jones and Dave Smith

Talk: 'No sex we’re scientists' (Dave Smith), chaired panel discussion on diversity and inclusivity in science  (leonie Jones), 4th joint Dial-a-molecule and directed synthesis networks ECR event

July 2019 Dave Smith Interview: Making invisible work in STEM more visible (Chem Eng News)
June 2019 Dave Smith LGBT in STEM Survey Results Launch - Introductory Speaker
June 2019 Dave Smith and Alex Palmer University pride flag raising event (speakers)
March 2019 Caroline Dessent Invited talk, 'What does it take to become a golden department for gender equality? Athena SWAN in Chemistry@York.' Delft Women in Science symposium, TU Delft
February 2019 Ruth Purvis
Invited talk: 11 years of Athena Swan, advice on implementing a EDI policies, The Aerosol Society
February 2019 Paul Walton Interview in Nature Careers 
February 2019 Leonie Jones Invited talk, 'People like us? How unconscious bias affects our decisions.' International Mother Language Day Celebration, University of York
January 2019 Elizabeth Fear Co-organised McCamley Lecture and Lunchtime Forum on Maintaining a Work-Life Balance. University of York
January 2019 Julia Sarju  Delivered a workshop 'Individual Arrangements and Inclusive Assessments for Undergraduate Chemistry: Checks & Balances' at the RSC's Higher Education Teaching Network Winter Meeting: Kings College London.
January 2019 Caroline Dessent, Helen Coombs Talk on Submitting an Athena SWAN Application, Athena SWAN Forum, University of York
January 2019 Derek Wann LGBT+STEMinar attendance and steering group membership, London
January 2019 Caroline Dessent Took part in the Universities Counselling Service (CiC) consultation, University of York



December 2018 Paul Walton Member, throughout 2018, of a Review Group into the Effectiveness of Athena SWAN, London.  
December 2018 Emma Dux, Helen Coombs, Leonie Jones Members of the Chemistry Mental Health Support Team. Team Award and Winners of the "Health, Wellbeing and Resilience Initiative of the Year". Professional at York Event, University of York.
December 2018 Julia Sarju, Robin Perutz

Talk highlighting disabled role models in science for Disability History Month. "Science stars with a difference: can we learn from disability history?" University of York. Chem Update 

December 2018 Leonie Jones, Caroline Dessent Unconscious bias observer training workshop, University of York (open to all staff)
December 2018 David Smith Invited speaker, Joliot Curie 2018 Webinar - Multiple Pathways to Success
November 2018 Paul Walton, Leonie Jones Ran an Undergraduate Session on Equality and Unconscious Bias. University of York
November 2018 Paul Walton Lecture "Gender Equality in Higher Education: How to do it." Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenberg, Sweden.
November 2018 David Smith Interview, Nature career feature - Juggling research and family life: honest reflections from scientist dads
November 2018 Paul Walton Lecture to the Science and Engineering Faculty at the University of Freiburg.
November 2018 David Smith Media article, Chemistry World - Family-friendly science
November 2018 David Smith Online interview - Breaking the Barriers Report Launch Event
October 2018 Helen Coombs, Caroline Dessent Media article, The Royal Society of Chemistry Voice magazine - The gold standard
 July 2018 David Smith Media article, "Hidden Diversity Steps Out of the Closet" (Article for LGBTSTEMDay), Royal Society of Chemistry
 June 2018 Paul Walton Invited lecturer, LERU conference, Zurich, Switzerland
 June 2018 David Smith Invited speaker, LGBT Scientists - Hidden Stories
 June 2018 David Smith Invited speaker, LGBT Network Launch - Springer Nature
 June 2018

Alex Palmer

Represented YUSU Disabled Students Network at a meeting with CCG to discuss survey results of disabled student experiences of medical care from Unity Health. 

 June 2018

Alex Palmer

University of York's first Student Pride Event (16 June): organised and ran a stall at the Student Pride event as part of committee work for YUSU Disabled Students Network.

 June 2018

Alex Palmer

York Pride (9 June): organised marching groups for York Pride as part of committee work for YUSU LGBTQ Network and for YUSU Disabled Students Network.
 June 2018

Leonie Jones

York Pride: Chemistry Department celebrates - Flags-it-up for York Pride
 June 2018

Caroline Dessent, Leonie Jones

Invited to Westminster Abbey: book launch of the official History of Parliament Trust Vote commemorative album "Voice and Vote" which features the Department of Chemistry.
 June 2018 Caroline Dessent, Leonie Jones

Hosted lunchtime staff forum on Fatherhood and Flexible Working, Department of Chemistry-University of York.

 May 2018

Paul Walton

Invited lecturer, Department of Computing Science, University of Glasgow

 May 2018

David Smith

Author "ChemYork"Spring 2018 External Magazine. " LGBT+ STEMinar - a formula for inclusive science." Department of Chemistry - University of York.

 May 2018 Alex Palmer

Trans Awareness Week: organised a week of events at the University of York to raise funds for Action for Trans Health.

 May 2018 Duncan Bruce, Caroline Dessent

Invited Professor Carolyn Bertozzi from Stanford University keynote lecturer at the scientific symposium celebrating excellence and diversity in science and to give a public lecture: The long game of STEM diversification.

 May 2018 David Smith Presenter, Professor Carolyn Bertozzi Public Lecture and Panel Discussion, University of York 
 May 2018 Duncan Bruce, Caroline Dessent Hosted a two-day event within the Department of Chemistry to celebrate 10 years of Athena SWAN Gold.
 May 2018 Helen Coombs Met with Dr Megan Osmond from Australia's CSIRO (The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) to discuss experiences of Athena SWAN at York.
 April 2018 Caroline Dessent Professor Ellie Highwood (Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, University of Reading) joined us in the Department to give a Beacon Lecture From dust to diversity... adventures in atmospheric science and equality. 
 April 2018 David Smith Press Interview, "Science is full of personal stories. York's David Smith thinks scientists should share them".
 March 2018 Caroline Dessent, Leonie Jones Hosted Lunchtime staff forum: Imposter syndrome: Am I the only person that feels like a fraud? Department of Chemistry - University of York
 March 2018 David Smith Invited speaker, LBGT+, American Society.
 March 2018 David Smith Invited speaker, University of Bristol Diversity Event
 March 2018 David Smith Invited speaker, LGBT+ Physical Science Survey Launch Event
 March 2018 Paul Walton Invited presenter, Gender equality lecture
 March 2018 Caroline Dessent Invited speaker, International Women's Day Event - University of Leeds (Faculty of Medicine and Health Care).
 February   2018 Duncan Bruce, Helen Coombs Facilitators: Department of Chemistry - first academic department at the University of York to introduce specific ‘all genders welcome’ toilets.
 January   2018 Derek Wann Speaker, LGTB STEMinar, University of York
 January   2018 David Smith Pleanary speaker, LGBT STEMinar, University of York.
 January   2018 Leonie Jones, Derek Wann Organised LGBT STEMinar hosted in the National STEM Learning Centre, University of York.
 January   2018  Leonie Jones Invited speaker, 10 years of Athena SWAN Gold Brunel, Computer Science Diversity Day. 
 January   2018 Caroline Dessent Invited speaker, The Department of Chemistry’s Equality and Diversity activities and Athena SWAN submission, Association of Business Schools.
 January   2018 David Smith

Invited speaker, 10 years of Athena SWAN Gold, University of Kent at Medway - School of Pharmacy Seminar.


November 2017 Dave Smith Gay Times Honours, Nominee, Barbara Burford Award for STEM, London 
November 2017

Duncan Bruce 
Caroline Dessent
Leonie Jones

Co-organisers of RSC Celebrating Diversity in the Chemical Sciences
November 2017 Dave Smith Panel member, RSC Celebrating Diversity in the Chemical Sciences, London 
November 2017 Paul Walton Presentation to Chalmers University, Sweden
October 2017 Paul Walton Presentation to Chemistry Department and University and Briefing to Equality Group, Lund University, Sweden
October 2017 Paul Walton Briefing to Heads of Departments and Presentation to Department of Chemistry,Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
October 2017 Paul Walton Presentation to Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield
October 2017

Dave Smith

EPSRC/IOP/RSC Diversity in Leadership Workshop, London
September 2017

Paul Walton

Presentation to senior management group, Delft University, Holland
August and September 2017

Paul Walton

Presentations at EPSRC ICT meetings, London
25 September 2017

Caroline Dessent

EPSRC Inclusion Matters Workshop participant, Bristol
21 September 2017

Caroline Dessent

'Going for Gold: Athena SWAN and Beyond' University of Liverpool, Faculty of Physical Sciences, Invited Talk
21 September 2017

Caroline Dessent

"How to be a Woman ....Scientist", University of Liverpool, Faculty of Physical Sciences, Invited Talk
August 2017

Helen Coombs Caroline Dessent

Advice on recruitment best practice given to Gender Equality Officer at University of Liverpool
July 2017

Dave Smith

Invited to attend London Gay Times Awards
July 2017

Dave Smith

Keynote speaker at Next Step events in York
8 July 2017

Caroline Dessent

Obstacles and Opportunities: Carving out Careers": British Society for the History of Science, Annual Meeting Invited Talk and Panel Discussion, York
June 2017

Dave Smith

Invited Talk, Science Museum, Sexuality Lates Event, London
June 2017

Paul Walton

University lecture, University of Zurich, Switzerland
May 2017

Dave Smith

Invited Lecture on LGBT+ Diversity in STEM: University of Lancaster
May 2017

Dave Smith

Invited Lecture on LGBT+ Diversity in STEM: University of Nottingham 
May 2017

Dave Smith

Plenary Lecture, UNIT 2017, May 2017, Berlin
March 2017

Dave Smith

Guest speaker at 'Bring your whole self to work' event, Procter and Gamble, Newcastle
March 2017

Leonie Jones

Invited Talk, 'Athena SWAN – progression & culture change, 10 years of Athena SWAN gold', Bangor University
February 2017

Paul Walton

University lecture, University of Surrey
January 2017

Leonie Jones
Derek Wann

'Development of a novel unconscious bias observer scheme at Chemistry@York',  at LGBT STEMinar 2017
January 2017

Paul Walton

Presentation to Rector, staff and students at University of Freiberg, Germany


November 2016

Dave Smith

Invited Lecture on LGBT+ Diversity in STEM: University of Oxford
November 2016

Leonie Jones

Biophotonics North, 'Unconscious Bias in the Academic Environment', University of St Andrews
October 2016

Paul Walton

Keynote speaker at LERU conference on gender with a focus on women in STEMM, Lund, Sweden
October 2016

Paul Walton

Royal Society Diversity Conference: received Athena SWAN Runner Up award and contributed to panel discussion
September 2016

Lucy Carpenter
Leonie Jones
Dave Smith
Paul Walton

Hosted Royal Society of Chemistry Joliot-Curie Conference 2016 at the National STEM Learning Centre
September 2016

Paul Walton

Spoke at University of Cork, Ireland. Also gave briefing to Executive Group.
June 2016

Paul Walton

Gave staff lecture at Uppsala University, Sweden
June 2016

Paul Walton

Swedish National Equality Conference, Lund, Sweden
April 2016

EDG Group

Equality and diversity discussions with School of Maths and Physical Sciences, University of Reading
April 2016

Helen Coombs

Discussions on Athena SWAN with UCL Institute of Child Health
March 2016

Paul Walton

Speaker at University of Chester on Athena SWAN
February 2016

Helen Coombs
Paul Walton
Leonie Jones

 Advice meeting on Athena SWAN submission process with the Met Office
February 2016

Paul Walton

Spoke at Technological University, Delft, The Netherlands
February 2016

Paul Walton

Attended HEA Committee on gender equality, Dublin
January 2016

Derek Wann
Dave Smith

Both attended, and Dave gave opening plenary lecture, at the LGBT STEMinar at Sheffield. A version of his talk can be found on his YouTube channel: 


December 2015

Derek Wann

Spoke at the Athena SWAN awards ceremony
December 2015

Robin Perutz

Book review: Women scientists - Reflections, Challenges and Breaking Boundaries by Magdolna Hargittai
November 2015

Eliza Bonello

Gave presentation on 'Disability in the Workplace' to INCLUDE, the University of York's disabled staff network
October 2015

Helen Coombs
Paul Walton

Gave advice to UCL Medical School on Athena SWAN process
October 2015 Robin Perutz Presentation at the University of Aberdeen to a general audience varying from undergraduate to University Vice Principal on "Celebrating the buzz of success: changing the ethos and Athena SWAN Gold". The discussion afterwards was at least a long as the talk
October 2015 Eliza Bonello

Attended Westminster Employment Forum on "Disability in the Workplace - priorities for policy" on behalf of the University's Disabled Staff Network

October 2015 Ruth Purvis Gave advice on Athena SWAN process to the Met Office
September 2015 Caroline Dessent Talk on Athena SWAN at North East Athena SWAN meeting in York
September 2015

Leonie Jones
Dave Smith

Attended Joliot-Curie Conference 2015, Cambridge. Leonie presented a poster on Flexible Working practices and Dave gave a talk on Promoting Cultural Change. Two students (Kate Appleby, Craig Archbold) and a post-doc (Ana Campo Rodrigo) were also funded by the Department to attend the conference
September 2015 Helen Coombs Advice to MRC Cell Biology Athena team, UCL
July 2015 Paul Walton Talk at COST Action meeting, Nanoscale Quantum Optics, Florence
July 2015 Alison Parkin

Visit to Stokesley School - gave keynote talk at the Year 11 "Science and Engineering Day", designed to promote female students' engagement with science and engineering qualifications and careers (~100 Year 11 students attended) and also spoke to 6th form science A level students

June 2015 Paul Walton

Equality and Diversity Talk at University of Birmingham

June 2015 Paul Walton

Talk at COST Action meeting, GenderSTE, Nicosia, Cyprus

April 2015 Helen Coombs Advice to University of Newcastle on enhancing the role of women in Science and Technology
April 2015 Paul Walton Sex in Science seminars, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus
March 2015 Paul Walton Talk on gender equality at University of Nijmegen, Netherlands
February 2015 Dave Smith Invited Lecture on LGBT+ Diversity in STEM: University of Reading
January 2015 Paul Walton Gender equality talk to Wellcome Trust


November 2014 Paul Walton Advice to Senior Managers Group, University of Leeds
November 2014 Emma Dux
Robin Perutz
Athena Forum, London
October 2014 Helen Coombs Advice to Equality & Diversity Unit, University of Oxford, on part-time working policy
October 2014 Paul Walton Gender Equality talks at Universities of Oxford and Huddersfield
September 2014 Ruth Purvis Symposium on 'Promoting STEM Subjects to Girls in Primary Schools', Queen's University Belfast
June 2014 Alison Parkin Keynote speaker at Stokesley School 'Science and Engineering Day' focused on enthusing Year 10 pupils about science careers. Talk and workshops with ~180 pupils
June 2014 Paul Walton
Kate Horner
Promoting Female Excellence in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, Oslo 2014: equality talk by Paul Walton; conference delegate Kate Horner
June 2014 Kirsty Penkman Represented Department at Westminster briefing on "Gender and STEM - where next for universities?"
June 2014 Paul Walton Invited (with Pratibha Gai and Dave Smith) to parliamentary event hosted by Professor Lesley Yellowlees CBE, the Royal Society of Chemistry and Valerie Vaz MP to focus on the issue of diversity in science
June 2014 Derek Wann
Catherine Foster
Athena SWAN Good Practice Workshop at Royal Society of Chemistry, London
June 2014 Paul Walton Talk on equality to senior management group, University of Limerick, Ireland
May 2014 Paul Walton GenderSTE targeted workshop, University of Rijeka, Croatia
April 2014 Sue Couling
Paul Walton
Women and Change in Higher Education conference, Durham University: keynote speaker Sue Couling; workshop given by Paul Walton
March 2014 Dave Smith Invited Lecture on LGBT+ Diversity in STEM: University of Liverpool
March 2014 Helen Coombs Consultation with HR/Equality & Diversity Advisor, Warwick University, on flexible working and maternity/paternity leave
March 2014 Paul Walton EU STAGES project (Structural Transformation to Achieve Gender Equality in Science) workshop, Brussels
March 2014 Paul Walton Athena SWAN conference on unconscious bias (keynote speaker), University of Portsmouth
February 2014 Alison Parkin Consultation with Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, on Athena SWAN management and impact at York
January 2014 Helen Coombs Hosted Athena SWAN visit from Newcastle University Chemistry Department
2014 Paul Walton Talks and seminars at inter alia: University of Leeds, Queen Mary's College London, King's College London, University of Cambridge; full details on Gender equality work webpage


2013 Paul Walton Various national and international talks and lectures: see Gender equality work webpage


June 2012 Sue Couling Hosted UKRC-WISE/GeCo National Networking meeting "Gaining senior management commitment to gender equality in HEIs"
2012 Caroline Dessent
Robin Perutz
Presentations to National Institute of Health Researchers, Senior Investigators' meeting
2012 Sue Couling Expert on GenCo Project – A European project on Improving Gender Equality Competences of Persons Responsible for Personnel Development in Private Enterprises and Higher Education